NATO Simplifies Command Structure

: Brussels—NATO’s 28 defense ministers agreed to simplify and streamline the alliance’s command structure and to reduce the number of headquarters personnel by 25 percent to 30 percent, said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The changes are meant to “make the alliance leaner and more efficient” during a time when many member countries are facing tight or dwindling defense budgets, Rasmussen said. Defense Secretary Robert Gates applauded the effort, which has been a top priority of his for the alliance for the last three years. However, he urged alliance members to invest the savings in new capabilities, rather than pocketing the money. (Rasmussen statement)